Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Washington's a Jungaleer

Darren Washington has taken his game to Detroit Southeastern and will be eligible to play for the Jungaleers immediately. The 6-9 center from Sterling Heights was expected to play at Stevenson High School but Washington and his family decided Southeastern would be the best choice for his development as a player.

"I was real excited when I find out that Darren was going to attend our school," mentioned Head Coach Mark White of Southeastern, "I had heard of him better I had never seen him play. He has a ton of potential and already has laid the foundation to be a really good player. He has good right and left balance and his skill set is solid. The sky is the limit for Darren."

Washington spent his freshman year at Heritage Middle school in Sterling Heights. Even though Heritage has freshman enrollment they are considered a middle school, which allowed Washington's enrollment at Southeastern to not be considered a transfer. Washington had his choice to attend any high school with open enrollment and he picked the Jungaleers.

"Big D" has exploded onto the basketball this world. He has spent his weekends playing with the 15-u Michigan Mustangs. Washington has rare characteristics for a 15 year old of his size. "He has a huge upside and can really run the floor for a player of size," states Coach Mike Faletti of the Michigan Mustangs, "He has great timing blocking shots and rebounding plus he has a passion for the game and he's a real tough kid."

Washington now gives Coach White three high major prospects from the class of 2011 with Washington joining 6-4 Brandan Kearney (PG) and 6-8 Percy Gibson (PF). "All three guys learn quickly and they have a chance to be really, really good." says Coach White, "We have talent and potential but now we need to develop those skills. We are working hard in individual drills and in the weight room."

Washington already has a 7-foot wingspan and with a size 18 shoe the writing is on the wall that he will soon be a 7-footer. But being a seven footer isn't Darren goal, he wants to be a skilled basketball player when it is all said and done, and right now he is on the right road.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CMU Team Camp: Top 10 Performances

(Is there anything Pookie can't do on the hardwood?)

(Trey Zeigler pushes the ball up the court while at CMU)

(Just one of the times Kallante Miller exploded to the basket at CMU)

(at 6-7 Dan Chilcote can do anything a guard can do)

Mt. Pleasant- Below are a listing of the top individual performances from CMU's team camp this past weekend. Players are listed in ranked order.

1. Maurice Jones, Arthur Hill- "Pookie" controlled every game he played by being a playmaker on both ends of the floor.

2. Trey Zeigler, Mt. Pleasant- Zeigs was deserving of the #1 spot but the difference was Pookie won the championship game. Zeigler showed off his ability to run the point as well as dominate on the block.

3. Sammy Burton, Oak Park- did a terrific job of controlling the tempo and looking for his teammates. He knew when to push it and when to pull it out.

4. Omari Humes, Arthur Hill- Humes time in the weight room is starting to pay off.

5. Kallante Miller, Oak Park- attacked the basket well but just ran out of gas as the day went on.

6. Andrew VanDierendonck, Wyandott Roosevelt- I loved his ability to handle the ball and get to the basket at his height.

7. Dan Chilcote, Lumen Christi- hit jumpers from all over the court, impressive for a 6-7 sophomore.

8. Joey Saladino, Forest Hills Central- hit 11 3-pointers against Lumen Christi in the quarter finals, enough said!

9. Jimmy Davis, Saginaw- carried the load for a Trojan team that was missing plenty of players.

10. Korey VanDussen, Zeeland East- played well but struggled against some of the better players.

Dumars To Head South

Jordan Dumars has taken his name off of the board by giving a verbal commitment to the University of South Florida. The 6-5 wing will finish up his last season at Country Day before becoming a Bull and taking his game to the Big East.

"I'm a Michigan kid, so it's not like I grew up rooting for USF,'' Dumars said. "But Coach Heath knows my Dad pretty well and he knows a lot of the Pistons' people. He came and saw me at the beginning of the fall and he really liked me. We have stayed in contact since then. And me being so comfortable with him, that's what really helped me make the decision.''

C.M.U. Team Camp: Top Teams

(Arthur Hill's Jalen Bland played well at CMU)
(Sammy Burton has big plans for Oak Park)

(Jay Willis can play inside and out for Lumen Christi)

The Championship game featured two Saginaw Valley League teams, with Arthur Hill coming out on top over Mount Pleasant. Arthur Hill's toughest battle came in the semi-finals against a scrappy Oak Park team. Oak park rallied from 16 points to cut the lead to 1, but the Jacks were able to regroup and put the game away with two big buckets from Maurice Jones and Omari Humes.

Mount Pleasant snuck past Toledo Waite in the other semi-final. Mount Pleasant didn't have the hottest start of the camp as the Oilers dropped their first three games, but come bracket play Trey Zeigler put his team on his shoulders and dominated the competition.

Below are a listing of the top 5 Michigan teams from the CMU team camp:

1. Arthur Hill- an easy pick for #1 because they won the championship and were without three starters, however they did have Maurice "Pookie" Jones and Omari Humes and that proved to be enough. Coach Greg McMath has spent the last two weeks developing his bench and that bench is looking pretty talented, particularly Jalen Bland (So.), Kwincy Tucker (Jr.), and Dell Simon (So.) All three players came up with big plays as the Jacks stomped through the bracket.

2. Mount Pleasant- yes, the Oilers did take some losses early on but they put it together late Saturday. Trey Zeigler had his plate full in games, since he has to put up most of the productivity as well as being the coach on the floor. To credit the rest of the team, they do come up with plays and points when they were needed.

3. Oak Park- first things first-the Knights have a chance to be real good this year. They lack a true big man but Kallante Miller is physical enough to make up for it. Sammy Burton continues to play well as he matures into a"take care of the ball" point guard. Oak Park excelled at running the floor and scoring in transition but they struggled hitting jump shots when teams zoned them.

4. Forest Hills Central- nothing fancy in terms of size or athleticism but they played hard, had a deep bench, and could score- primarily combo guard Joey Saladino. Central has the ingredients to have a successful season.

5. Jackson Lumen Christi- this football powerhouse might be able to make some noise in the basketball world. Lumen Christi has five players that stand over 6-5. At times they are too impatient offensively and force shots but they get after it hard on the boards.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Northwood Shootout: Top 5 Teams

(Chris Jones is ready to make Heritage a contender for the SVL)
(Christian Vaughn has played solid with the ball in his hands so far in June)

Midland, MI- First off credit has to be given to Coach Mike Thomas and the rest of the Northwood staff for putting togther a wonderful camp in a top notch facility. Close to 30 teams from around the state of Michigan gathered for the two day event. Below are my top 5 teams based only on there performance at Northwood.

1. Saginaw Heritage Yes, Heritage! The Hawks seem to be turning a new leaf with their basketball program. The kids enjoy playing for newly hired coach, John Wilson. Heritage did have their complete team at Northwood and were able to pull off wins against Carman-Ainsworth, Saginaw, and Arthur Hill. The Hawks still have a long way to go till they can pull wins off like this in the season but the foundation is set to be competitive. Chris Jones, AJ Thomas, and Lavario Smith give the Hawks a strong guard rotation.

2. Saginaw High the Champs were without Mike Green but all that did was give players like Tommie McCune, Jimmy Davis, and Christian Vaughn an opportunity to step up. Vaughn continues to develope more and more into a combo guard than a wing forward. McCune played more aggresively and demanded the ball more than he did at Michigan State last week. Coach Lou Dawkins had a bench full of about 17 bodies and gave everyone minutes.

3. Arthur Hill the Jacks were missing a majority of their team due to football 7-on-7's but the younger players looked good. Maurice Jones was still there to lead the way even though he played very few minutes. Kwincy Tucker is starting to develop into a reliable post player for Coach Greg McMath. McMath is spending June minutes to develope his bench and that'll pay off come winter.

4. Carman-Ainsworth post players Dee Chapman and Jaylen Larry continue to compliment each other well. Larry shot the elbow jumper well whenever he popped up. Point guard Glenn Cosey will also play a key role as he replaces Jon Lee at the point. This year's Cav team plays more physical that what we have seen in the past.

5. East Grand Rapids- East will be led by a fantastic junior class that knows how to play the game. everyone knows who Colin Voss is, and the 6-7 forward will draw most of the attention from opposing defenses but East has players that can spread the floor and shoot the ball.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Izzo Shootout: Top 15 teams

Below is a listing of the top 15 team performances in ranked order from the Izzo Shootout. Rankings are based on only the performances from the past weekend and are no reflection of rankings of the upcoming season.

1. Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard The class C power shocked everyone by walking away as the camp champs. Eso Akunne and Josh Herbeck were the headliners but the supporting cast was the difference. Richard is now the clear cut favorite to win class C this season.

2. Clarkston the Wolves were without Matt Kamienicki but Coach Fife didn't let that slow them down. Tom Staton and Brandon Pokley stepped up and got the job done. Clarkston finished second at the camp and now raise the question- is this the year the Wolves finally make it to the Breslin come March?

3. Southfield the Blue Jays were the biggest surprise of the camp and that credit goes to sophomore Carlton Brundidge. The 6-1 scoring wing almost single handily carried Southfield to the "final 4". The Blue Jays managed to get wins over Hartland, Belleville, and Arthur Hill.

4. Romulus No coach in the state might get more out of his players than Nate Oats does. The Eagles lost 7 seniors to graduation but Oats simply reloads. Junior DeAndray Buckley covered every aspect of the game while Donnavin Searcy roamed the paint.

5. Lansing Eastern In just his second season Coach Watts has the Quakers looking like a contender, but that's easy to say when you have sophomore Donte "Buckets" Henton flying all over the floor. Rico Stewart did a fantastic job at the point and new comer Pierre Bracket fit in perfectly. Eastern got wins over Country Day and Saginaw High.

6. Detroit Southeastern Yes the Jungaleers are young but all the pieces are there for Coach White. Southeastern has plenty of size and beef on the roster to go with some speedy guards and the trump card is sophomore Brandan "The King" Kearney. Under Coach White's watch this team will be tough to reckon with come winter.

7. Arthur Hill The Jacks missed 6-7 Mike Schaff but it gave the young fellas a chance to flaunt their stuff. As long as Pookie Jones has the ball in his hands the Jacks will always have a chance to win. Look for 2007 JV players- Jalen Bland, Dell Simon, and Kwincy Tucker, to be key contributors this season.

8. Flint Powers Sugar Shane is the man, Patrick Lucas Perry is the PG, and Rodney Anderson will make the highlights but if Patrick O'Brien, Demarco Sanders and Kevin Pickens can play in the season like they did at MSU then this will be the Chargers' year!

9. Lansing Sexton the Big Reds had Gabriel Richard on their toes on the main Breslin floor in the quarter-finals but fell just short. Sexton has some tough/disciplined players and Coach Valentine is doing a wonderful job of developing his young guys while making Sexton a Class B contender.

10. De La Salle Yes, it is only June but I was hoping to see a little more out of De La Salle...but maybe they didn't want to go too deep in their bag of tricks? Alex Marcotullio played well but I want to see Kevin McCarthy become more dominate in the post.

11. Benton Harbor Another big surprise from the weekend. A few solid post players led by Tyrone Black and wing Terrell Clinton will give the program that headliner. They played smart and tough over the weekend.

12. Hartland The Eagles looked better on Friday with a 50% Matt Poches and shooter Chris Cagle but neither gave it a go on Saturday and Vonn Jones was left to carry the team. Jones is still the best PG in Michigan! Hartland will surprise some people this year.

13. Country Day Riley and Kirk were around on Friday but they had ACTs to take on Saturday leaving it up to the youngsters. I really like sophs-to-be Lee Bailey, Kenny Knight, and Amir Williams, they play with plenty of energy and heart.

14. Saginaw High the Trojans have plenty of guards but they lack a true PG to replace Daniel West. Mike Green and Jimmy Davis can score but they lack PG skills, right now it looks like it might be Christian Vaughn. The State Champs weren't on the same page in East Lansing but trust me that'll change come December.

15. Grand Ledge Talk about playing hard! No Jon Horford but the Comets still got some big wins, they play hard and scrap for everything. This team just enjoys playing with each other. They got wins over Flint Powers and Southfield.

Izzo Shootout: Top 15 upperclassmen

Listed below are the top 15 performances from the classes of 2009 and 2010 at the Izzo Shootout. Players are listed in alphabetical order. Two notable names that are missing from this list are D. Riley and D. Kirk of Country Day, who missed Saturday to take their ACT.

Eso Akunne, Fwd., Gabriel Richard- picked it up right where he left off at the Breslin Center during the state semis. Akunne is a mismatch just waiting to happen and with a high hoops I.Q. he knows how to take advantage of it.

Kyle Bryant, PF, Det. Southeastern- he has that "I want to learn" attitude to go with a soft touch around the basket. He also knows how to get position and use his wide frame to box out more athletic players.

DeAndray Buckley, wing, Romulus- people want to see him play like his brother but that is unfair to ask of him. He goes about his business in a much quieter way although he is still Nate Oat's floor general from the wing.

Terrell Clinton, wing, Benton Harbor- where did this kid come from? An explosive 6-6 wing, with solid ball control, that is destined for a breakout junior year.

Mike Green, guard, Saginaw- I still am unsure if Green is ready to run the point full time but it's very clear he can stroke the ball. The jury is still out on if Green is ready to step up and become the man for the Trojans?

Josh Herbeck, wing, Gabriel Richard- I am still unsure where this 6-3 sharpshooter fits in at the next level but after his performance this weekend I would have to lean towards the D-1 level. Also showed that he isn't afraid to put the ball on the floor.

Maurice Jones, PG, Arthur Hill- "Pookie" was the most exciting player to watch play in East Lansing. He dominated his opponents with his speed and ball control. He is now ready to be the new leader of the Lumberjacks.

Vonn Jones, PG, Hartland- we got to see the best of both worlds from Jones over the weekend. Friday he distributed the ball like a true PG, and on Saturday, without Poches or Cagle, he put up a bulk of points.

Alex Marcotullio, guard, De La Salle- the lefty scorer has taken his game to the next level by playing better physical defensive. He did a good job of freeing himself up by running off picks.

Shane Moreland, combo, Flint Powers- He's now an upperclassmen and he is playing like it. There is more to Sugar Shane's game than just scoring. He's becoming a leader and getting after it on the defensive end.

Tom Staton, wing Fwd., Clarkston- gives Clarkston an athletic edge that they usually lack. Nothing too fancy but very effective, solid shooter and passer.

Jamie Stewart, wing, Livonia Clarenceville- another big surprise at the shootout. Stewart had a solid junior season and he's showing flashes of being one of the top players in his class.

Booker Stoudemire, combo, Belleville- very underrated player. can excel at either the one or the two. His athletic skills say the two but his mind set says the one. Crazy hops for a six footer.

Drew Valentine, wing, Lansing Sexton- Mr. Utility does it all for his Big Reds. Defensively he handles the post and offensively he usually handles the point. Drew is forming into a Mr. Basketball candidate.

Trey Zeigler, combo, Mt. Pleasant- "Zeigs" didn't have much help, while most of his teammates were playing baseball, but he didn't let that slow him down. Zeigs proved that he will be able to carry the Oilers by himself this season.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Izzo Shootout: Top 15 Underclassmen

Listed below are the top 15 performances from the classes of 2011 and 2012 at the Izzo Shootout. The players are listed in alphabetical order.

Lee Bailey, PG, Country Day- looked comfortable running the show for the Yellowjackets and more importantly he took care of the ball. He understands the team's strengths are in the post, and he continuously fed the big fellas the ball.

Carlton Brundidge, wing, Southfield- is putting his team on the map and they did it with a long bracket run on Saturday. Brundidge scored at will all weekend. He is better suited when he attacks the basket by he isn't shy to let it fly from deep.

Percy Gibson, PF, Det. Southeastern- showed off his soft touch near the basket and his ability to run the floor. Right now Gibson is the best developed big man of all the underclassmen, his footwork is way ahead of the game.

LaDonte Henton, wing, Lansing Eastern- "Buckets" might have been the most dominate player regardless of class. He led the Quakers to some big wins over some big schools like Country Day and Saginaw High, against Country Day he took it right to DaShonte Riley.

Devin Ivy, PG, Ottawa Hills- a PG that can get his shot off whenever he wants, the only problem is it might not be a high percentage shot. Ivy will put Ottawa Hills on the map in the basketball world.

Brandan Kearney, PG, Det. Southeastern- "The King" is still only 60% and you could tell by the way he hobbled up the court, BUT he was still effective by dishing out assist and putting his teammates in great positions to score.

Ray Lee, wing, Robichaud- the incoming freshman proved that he will play a key role for Robichaud this season. He was able to handle the speed and physical play of the varsity level.

Patrick Lucas-Perry, PG, Flint Powers- a high basketball I.Q. point guard with a sweet shot from anywhere on the floor. Did a solid job of distributing the ball to a team full of scorers.

Tommie McCune, WF, Saginaw- he looks comfortable catching the ball and facing the basket. He plays a little too unselfish but Saginaw will need him to put up points this year. Very long and active and has high major written all over him.

Trey McDonald, C, Battle Creek Central- at 6-6 he adds his name to the list of big fellas in the class of 2011. He has some big shoes to fill by replacing Jason Washburn at BCC. Needs to work on his foot speed but he does take care of the dirty work in the paint.

Julian Plummer, PF, Muskegon Heights- strong post player, needs to continue to polish up his offensive skills but he is bulky and tough to move around. He plays on a team filled with small guards so his productivity is very important.

Matt Poches, wing, Hartland- tried to play hurt and was unable to finish the shootout but he was still good enough to land his name on this list. At 50% he was still good enough to hit some 3-pointers and get to the basket while drawing contact.

Dell Simon, G, Arthur Hill- maturity wise, he doesn't look like a soph-to-be. strong and tough player that fits perfectly into the Hill's style of play. He gets to the basket well however he does need to improve on his outside shooting.

Denzel Valentine, wing, Lansing Sexton- his Coach/Dad is making it real tough for Denzel to get minutes but he is doing big things with the minutes he is getting. At 6-3 Valentine is pulling rebounds down and scoring in a variety of ways.

Amir Williams, C, Country Day- carried the load in the middle when Riley and Kirk had to miss Saturday. He doesn't look to put up a lot of shots but he sees the floor well and can make the right pass from the post. Did a solid job of blocking shots as well.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Middle School Showcase Camp: All-Star Game

The All-Star game took a special twist when it was announced that LaTreze Mushatt and Draymond "Day-Day" Green would coach the two teams. As close as a friendship that Trez and Day-Day have, they still took coaching the All-Star Game as serious as they did when they battled each other in the Hill-High rivalry. Day-Day coached the blue All-Stars while Mushatt coached the white All-Stars.

RaShaun Carroll
Dominique Jackson
David Jenson
Justin Kearney
Kevin Marshall
Charles Tucker
Denzel Watts

Bryn Forbes
Ty Jacobs
Quin Langston
Jordan Martin
Jalen Phillips
Sheldon Roberts
Denzel Valentine
Anton Wilson

Quin Langston sprained an ankle in the final team game but he had done enough through out the day to secure a spot on one of the All-Star rosters. The All-Star game stayed close as the two teams exchanged basket for basket but in the end the blue team walked away with a two point victory. Kevin Marshall was the All-Star game MVP.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Middle School Showcase Camp: Games

In the afternoon session the campers were divided into teams. Coach Jerry Brackett's team, the Spurs, went undefeated for the afternoon. The Spurs team consisted of Ty Jacobs, Malik Jordan, Jamarion Lawson, Kevin Marshall Jr., Austin Moore, Preston Walker, Sheldon Roberto, and Charles "Cha-Cha" Tucker.

The teams were so evenly divided that no game was won by more than 10 points. One of the first games went down to the wire, as the Spurs looked like they were about to be beat when Coach Kearney's Celtics took a one point lead with less than 10 seconds to go off of Denzel Valentine's bank off the high glass. Cha-Cha Tucker instantly took the inbounds pass and raced down the court. With time ticking away Tucker sucked in the defense and dropped a pass to Kevin Marshall, who scored the game winning lay-up.

More game highlights:

**Quin Langston showed why he is one of the top players in the class of 2012. In the first game he threw down a powerful one hand dunk as well as knocking down a 3-pointer.

**Two of the top PG's from the class of 2013, Cha-Cha Tucker and Denzel Watts, went right at each other in a game. They both stepped up to the challenge and guarded each other. Neither player gave the other an inch of breathing room. Tucker's team got the win.

**Bryn Forbes got hot in one game and scored a camp high 41 points. He connected on at least 12 3-pointers.

**PG Logan Parks (class of 2012) might have had the toughest day as he was forced to guard Cha-Cha Tucker, Bryn Forbes, and Denzel Watts. Parks held his own and despite being undersized he knows how to get physical in the open court.

Middle School Showcase Camp 2008

The 2008 Middle School Showcase Camp took place this past weekend is Saginaw and was a huge success. The camp was put together by NGS and Coach McMath of Arthur Hill.

NGS would first like to think the following people for their help in making the camp a success: Leonard Adams, Jerry Brackett, Pierre Brackett, Reg Evans, Mike Faletti, Draymond "Day-Day" Green, Omari Humes, Dedo Jackson, Maurice "Pookie" Jones, Derrick Kearney, Greg Lawson, Ronnie McMath, Trez Mushatt, Coach Swilley, and Craig Wind as well as Center Courts and Intermission Deli.

Campers in grades 5th through 8th participated in the one day camp. Players came from all over Michigan to make the competition level very high. The participants started the day with full court team drills, then moved into individual stations concentrating on fundamentals. Following lunch the players played in team games and a select few were lucky enough to play in the camp's All-Star game.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Trey Zeigler lands another offer!

Two days ago junior-to-be Trey Zeigler took an unofficial visit with his father to the University of Michigan. During the visit Coach Beilein gave the 6-4 combo guard an offer to play basketball for the Wolverines. "Coach Beilein is a real nice guy and a good coach, we broke down film and he showed me some film of his past players and how he thought I could help him," Trey said.

The Michigan offer is Zeigler's fourth offer, as he has received offers from UCLA, Indiana, and Central Michigan. Of course, the CMU offer comes from his father Ernie Zeigler who is the head coach at CMU. "I take my Dad's offer as serious as I do the rest. I have always wanted to play high major basketball but my Dad has steered CMU in the right direction and if they can continue to improve I most definitely will consider Central," stated Zeigs.

Zeigler enjoyed himself so much at Michigan that the Wolverines are now a serious contender in the "Trey Zeigler sweepstakes". "The visit was better than I had expected, I am really taking Michigan serious now," said Trey.

Other schools that are recruiting Zeigs and will probably offer him in the near future are: Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, and Purdue. Zeigler is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to East Lansing next week. There is also no time table for Trey to make a decision. Trey states, "I don't have a time table, I am going to just rely on my gut feeling. When I feel comfortable with the right school I will then make my decision."

The King picks up an offer!

Last night Brandan "The King" Kearney took an unofficial visit to the University and Michigan and received an offer to play for the Wolverines. The 6-4 point guard is arguably the #1 player in the class of 2011.

Kearney started drawing attention from college coaches when he began starting on Detroit Southeastern's varsity team as a freshman. The recruiting has really picked up over the AAU season as B.K. has led the way for the Michigan Mustangs.

Brandan spent over six hours visiting the campus and athletic facilities at U of M, "The visit went great, Coach was great, and I really enjoyed myself," said Kearney. Kearney's visit to Ann Arbor comes a day after Trey Ziegler's visit to Wolverine Country, Ziegs also picked up an offer from Coach Beilein. "Coach Beilein said Michigan basketball is going to turn around I like the direction they are heading," stated Kearney.

Kearney has always had a relationship with the University of Michigan due to the fact that he is relatives to Stan and Braylon Edwards, but that does not make him a lock to be a Wolverine. "We play different sports, so it makes the situation different. Just because that was the right fit for them doesn't necessarily make it the right fit for me. Michigan is going to have to recruit me just like any other school."

Kearney's recruiting is just getting started as schools like Michigan State, Memphis, Ohio State, Indiana, Louisville, and Davidson have also showed major interest in him. Even with offers coming in so early, the recruiting process is far from over for this young man. "My family and I don't plan to make a decision until my senior season is over. I want to enjoy this process and make sure that I make the right decision."

Mustang Jamboree: Standouts

Listed below are players that were on top of their game over the course of the weekend in Lansing.

Doug Anderson, 2009, 17-u Mustangs- Doug has been MIA (missing in action) the last couple of weeks, in his return he gave the Stangs that energy burst that they feed off with his electrifying dunks. Doug also hit some jumpers from 17-feet out.

Matt Balkema, 2009, 17-u Mustangs- Balkema looks good running the floor while still playing plenty of minutes. He is in the best shape of his life and has really started working hard. He now gives the Stangs a consistent and good big man.

Alex Gauna, 2010, 16-u Mustangs- has the best outside game of any big man in the state, he shoots the ball with plenty of confidence from 3-point range. He also posterized a few defenders over the weekend.

LaDonte Henton, 2011, 17-u Eastern Quakers- "Buckets" played with his school team over the weekend and they looked good by pulling out some wins over a couple AAU teams. Buckets averaged 20 and 15 with his Quaker boys.

Juwan Howard Jr., 2010, 16-u Mustangs- Juwan is turning into a D-1 player right before our eyes. He can score, he plays defense, and he is a true team player. He's one of the most consistent players for the 16-u Stangs and he's going to make Pershing that much better.

Chris Jones, 2010, 17-u Triple Threat- Jones ran with T.T. this weekend and put on a shooting clinic from deep. He knocked down five 3-pointers against the Michigan Ballers in a come from behind win.

Mike Fugate, 2009, 17-u Mustangs- the PG made his Stang debut over the weekend and handled his business. His ability to push the ball and set up teammates in transition fit in perfectly with the athletes on the Mustang roster.

Shaquille Smith, 2011, 16-u Flint Affiliation- Shaq is going to be a good PG in his class, the only problem is that there are a lot of good players ahead of him right now. He has played up all spring and has been the best player for Bracket's 16-u FA.

Rico Stewart, 2009, 17-u Eastern Quakers- Rico also took some time away from the Stangs and played with his school team. Nobody has taken advantage of this AAU season more than Rico has. He has added his name to the list of top PG's in his class.

Derek Thompson, 2008, 17-u Showtime- The former Detroit Community player showed off what he has learned after a year of prep school. He has gained about 25 pounds of muscle and has improved his jump shot. He poured in 41 against ACB hoops.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mustang Jamboree: Young Standouts

This past weekend the Michigan Mustangs hosted their annual Adidas Spring Jamboree at Lansing Eastern High School. While most of the attention went to the 17-u and 16-u teams it was hard to ignore the skills from the two younger divisions. I didn't get a chance to see every team or catch every name but here are some of the standouts that I did have an opportunity to watch play at least once.

DeAnthony Arnette, 2011, 15-u Saginaw FOH- Dee can get to the basket as well as anyone in his class. He handles the PG duties for FOH and that will only help his development down the road.

Jalen Bland, 2011, 15-u Saginaw FOH- this 3-sport star has a nice pure jump shot. FOH uses his athletic ability in a variety of ways as he can play a few positions. He got hot over the weekend and knocked down some big shots against both the Mustangs and Hurricanes.

Pierre Bracket, 2011, 15-u Mustangs-
has taken over a huge role for the Mustangs. He by far had his best performance as a Stang as he moved to the starting line-up. Pierre has always shined defensively but he showed off his offensive skills over the weekend.

Marquelle Bradshaw, 2013, 14-u Saginaw All or Nothing- small in stature but knows how to run the floor and control the game's tempo. Nice little ball player that quietly handles his business.

Rashaun Carroll, 2012, 14-u Michigan Heat-the PG led his team all the way to the 14-u Championship. Not all of his teammates can get off their own shots so Carroll does a great job of putting them in position to score.

Dorian Dawkins, 2013, 14-u Saginaw All or Nothing- Dawkins has the skills to be one of those "special" players down the road. He can dominate at either the one or the two. Real good height for a combo guard in the 7th grade.

Marquavius Ford, 2011, Saginaw All or Nothing- talk about a lights out shooter! Ford has one objective in the game and that's to set and shoot, and he does it so well. He's very young for his grade so he was able to play for both of the Saginaw All or Nothing teams.

Quin Gavin, 2013, 14-u Saginaw All or Nothing- a combo guard who led his team in scoring over the weekend, he can get to the basket and finish. Plays the 1 but will probably be more of a natural 2-guard in high school.

Percy Gibson, 2011, 15-u Mustangs- "Big Perc" carried the load for the short handed Stangs over the weekend. He shot a high percentage while averaging 22 a game. Against Saginaw All or Nothing the big fella poured in 18 first half points.

Dylan and Ryan Hickoff, 2012, 14-u Flint Affiliation- I was very impressed with the twins over the weekend. They are natural small forwards that take pride in rebounding and playing defense but they both can shoot the ball quite well. They stand about 6-1 but I can see them turning into wings in high school.

Devin Ivy, 2011, 15-u Hurricanes- Ivy can get to the basket with his pure athleticism as well as stroking it from 3-point range and mid-range. Against the Mustangs he had a chip on his shoulder and took it right to them.

Dominique Jackson, 2013, 14-u Saginaw All or Nothing- more of a scoring wing than the typical point guard that we have come accustomed to from the Jackson family. At 5-9 he is long and stands out when he slashes to the basket. Still has that high basketball I.Q. that runs in the Jackson family.

Quin Langston, 2012, 14-u Flint Affiliation- more of a post player than a wing right now but he isn't afraid to handle the ball on the perimeter. Still needs to tighten up his fundamentals but his ability to get off the ground makes him a force near the basket.

Kevin Marshall Jr., 2012, 15-u Saginaw FOH- the 6-5 power forward was forced to play center for his team and he gave a full effort against the older big guys and he did hold his own. He can get up and down the floor as isn't afraid to get physical.

Tommie McCune, 2011, 15-u Mustangs- I am taking away McCune's label as being a "big man" because he is developing the skills to become a 6-7 wing, and once he gets it down you better watch out! McCune is full of energy and athleticism and he knows how to use it.

Shawn Nunn, 2011, 15-u Flint All-Stars- the little fella is just a joy to watch and he can easily embarrass his opponent in the open court. He looked to shoot a little more this weekend as I prefer watching him set up his teammates.

Cha-Cha Tucker, 2013, 14-u and 15-U Michigan Titans and Mustangs- Cha-Cha led the Titans all the way to the semi's in the 14-U division and at the same time he was doing more than just handling his own playing with the Stangs' 15u team. Playing up two age divisions he was calm and took care of the ball while being a playmaker at the same time.

Denzel Valentine, 2012, 15-u Mustangs- the top player from the class of 2012 continues to show why he plays up. He wouldn't get challanged playing in his own age group. He did a solid job of helping run the point as well as going inside and rebounding.

Christian Vaughn, 2011, 15-u Saginaw All or Nothing- Chris has really worked on his long range shooting and he showed it off over the course of the weekend. He played every position for Saginaw from bringing up the ball to handling the post duties.

Darren Washington, 2011, 15-u Mustangs- there are not very many 15 year old 6-9 players that can get up and down the floor like "Big D" can! He continues to play with that chip on the shoulder and he continues to learn every time he steps on the court.

Denzel Watts, 2013, 14-u Flint Affiliation- one of the top players from the class of 2013. A point guard that can fill it up. Strong, fast, and physical with a high basketball I.Q., what else do you need from a young PG? He gets after it hard on both ends of the floor.